The expression ‘innovate or die’ has been grasped by many businesses to mean that in order to succeed, or even survive, they must be more technologically progressive. Of course, innovation is a big deal in business. It can set you apart from your competitors, helping you attract and retain customers. It can also reduce overheads and increase profits and generally make working life more exciting.
Whilst it has a role to play, I do, however, think it is at risk of becoming a buzzword, with companies making changes for the sake of it – i.e. without considering if it is actually making an improvement. For some, this simply becomes a ‘tick box’ exercise.
For me, the key to innovation is understanding that it comes in all forms, shapes and sizes; and that it is 90% hard work and just 10% creativity. All too often it is thought of as a big ‘earth shattering’ development or a new technology, such as our revolutionary C2Zero carbon neutral cleaning system.
But the concept covers far more than this. Sometimes it’s better to do what you already do, in a better way, rather than looking to implement ‘innovative’ alternatives. A change in behaviour or process can be just as innovative. This might, for example, mean choosing one cleaning method throughout an entire business, a new way of distributing workloads, or how best to report on our service.
Improvement is always high on the agenda at Facilicom. We even have a dedicated ‘Innovation Board’. A joint initiative with our sister companies in The Netherlands and Belgium, this board creates a structure for improvement and allows ideas to be quickly put into practice and brought to market.
The board’s primary objective is to structure a cultural, organisational environment in which creativity can flourish, rather than looking to develop wildly imaginative ideas. It gives us a ‘system’ of development, and allows us to build the right conditions to incorporate innovation in the organisation. This means change/improvements becomes the norm, rather than an exception.
This is also one of the reasons why we are a finalist in the Tomorrows FM awards 2019. We are very proud to be shortlisted. If you’d like to support us, please follow this link to vote: https://bit.ly/2FzIyQk. Good luck to all the finalists!
Jan Hein Hemke
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland